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January 6 committee subpoenas Rudy Giuliani and ‘kraken’ lawyer Sidney Powell

The House select committee investigating the 6 January insurrection has issued subpoenas to ex-New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, attorney Sidney Powell, and two other attorneys involved in ex-president Donald Trump’s push to overturn 2020 election results with nonsensical legal claims.

Select committee chairman Bennie Thompson on Tuesday announced that he had issued the subpoenas for records and deposition testimony to Mr Giuliani and Ms Powell, as well as former Trump campaign legal advisers Jenna Ellis and Boris Epshteyn.

Each of the former president’s personal legal advisers was present at a bizarre press conference which the Trump campaign held at Republican National Committee headquarters on 19 November 2020, during which they made baseless allegations that the election — which Mr Trump lost — had been stolen via a byzantine conspiracy involving China, voting machine manufacturers, and long-dead Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

Mr Giuliani and Ms Powell were also involved in filing groundless lawsuits in swing states in which they sought to have those states’ electoral votes thrown out, and reportedly urged Mr Trump to order the Department of Homeland Security to seize voting machines despite having no authority to do so.

Ms Ellis, a journeyman ex-local prosecutor who joined up with the Trump campaign after being spotted defending the then-president on television, reportedly authored a memorandum which purported to lay out grounds for then-vice president Mike Pence to reject electoral vote certificates from swing states won by then-former Vice President Joe Biden in favour of forged electoral certificates submitted by self-styled Republican electors.

Mr Epshteyn is also alleged to have involvement in the campaign’s efforts to overturn the election by his participation in a “war room” at Washington’s Willard Hotel along with ex-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and other Trump associates on 5 and 6 January, the day a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in hopes of stopping Congress from certifying Mr Biden’s victory.

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